Railway induced vibration: a threat to our health
More and more people rely on public transport to commute to work or go about their daily business, a green trend that is stimulated by the European Commission that aims to increase rail capacity by 50% in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Nevertheless, on a more local level this increase in rail traffic may have negative implications for the quality of life and individual health of populations living close to railways.
A recent study performed among the citizens of the Västra Götaland and Värmland regions in Sweden shows that vibrations from rail transport are experienced through a number of senses. The chronic nature of exposure to this environmental stressor was a recurring topic. The inability to avoid or mitigate vibrations has been proven to have negative repercussions for one’s health and well-being.
The proximity to railways and the exposure to constant vibrations causes a series of illnesses such as elevated blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In 2011 the World Health Organization already warned that 1.8% of myocardial infarctions can be attributed to exposure to road traffic noise and only a few months ago they stated that around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and it is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss caused by noise pollution.
We at CDM Group are constantly trying to “make our world a quieter place” by developing new and effective solutions to decouple entire buildings or building layers, preventing harmful vibrations from causing harm to both infrastructure and public health.
Maclachlan, L., Waye, K. P., & Pedersen, E. (2017). Exploring Perception of Vibrations from Rail: An Interview Study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(11), 1303. doi:10.3390/ijerph14111303
World Health Organization . Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise, Quantification of Healthy Life Years Lost in Europe. World Health Organisation; Copenhagen, Denmark: 2011.